Dec 21, 2020 - Technology

Google denies DOJ's antitrust claims in filing

Illustration of the Google logo with scales of justice as the double o's.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Smartphone users choose Google as their search engine because they prefer it, not because Google's deals with phone makers set it as a default, the search giant said in its first formal response to the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit charging monopolistic abuses.

The big picture: The response offers Google's point-by-point rebuttal of the government's charges and asks the court to dismiss the suit, with the government reimbursing the company for its legal costs. The presiding judge has said a trial likely won't start until 2023.

  • The Justice Department lawsuit accuses Google of using agreements with companies like Apple, Samsung and LG to lock in its dominance on phones, which regulators argue keeps rivals like DuckDuckGo and Bing from gaining footholds in the market.

What they're saying:

  • Google denies any suggestion that its deals with phone makers violate antitrust laws.
  • "Any and all of Google's actions alleged by Plaintiffs were lawful, justified, pro-competitive and carried out in Google's legitimate business interests and constitute bonafide competitive activity," the response reads.

The big picture: Google is also fighting off two other antitrust lawsuits from state attorneys general — one from a group, led by Texas, that argues Google has an unfair monopoly on online advertising, and another from a group of states including Colorado and Nebraska that charges Google with anti-competitive search practices.

Read the filing:

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